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Rahul would fall into BJP trap if he quits: Priyanka Gandhi

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Rahul would be falling into the trap of BJP if he quit. Other leaders also chimed in, urging him to stay put.

May 26, 2019, 08.34 AM IST
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An office-bearer told Rahul Gandhi that BJP and RSS wanted him to quit since he was fighting against them, adding that his going silent would fulfill their wish.
NEW DELHI: Taking responsibility for the Lok Sabha poll debacle, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday offered to resign as Congress president. However, a veteran party leader said there was nobody to step into his shoes and that “workers would commit suicide” if he quit.

After A K Antony, Ahmed Patel and Chidambaram sought to comfort him, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Rahul would be falling into the trap of BJP if he quit. Other leaders also chimed in, urging him to stay put.

The CWC later rejected his offer of resignation and told him that he had full freedom to take all measures necessary for organisational overhaul of the party at all levels.

Though the offer was anticipated since the CWC meeting was convened on the evening of election results, what triggered commotion in the gathering was that Rahul refused to relent even as senior members including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tried to coax him out of his stance.

Interestingly, according to sources, when one participant remarked who else could lead the party, Rahul interjected, “why only us?” It was viewed as a reference to the Gandhi family. Rahul apparently said anyone could become the Congress president. Later, AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters that the resignation had been unanimously rejected and there was no confusion that Rahul continues to be the AICC president.

An office-bearer told Rahul Gandhi that BJP and RSS wanted him to quit since he was fighting against them, adding that his going silent would fulfill their wish. Rahul was also told that no Congress worker was blaming the leadership for the defeat but were attributing it to circumstances that developed during the campaign period.

The CWC meeting took place against the backdrop of the outcome of an election in which dynastic succession and politics of entitlement figured prominently, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbing Rahul as a “naamdaar” or a dynast. The PM had attacked the Nehru -Gandhi dynasty as a whole, daring Congress to contest the election on the strength of the scorecard of the family. The “unanimous” rejection of the resignation offer came even as many in the party feared that such an outcome might appear “scripted” and might not pass muster with people.

‘Amethi fear made Rahul choose Wayanad’
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday made it clear that he won’t quit as CM or change his style of functioning in the wake of the massive defeat that LDF suffered in the Lok Sabha elections.

Vijayan said the real intention behind AICC president Rahul Gandhi choosing Wayanad as his second constituency was clear to all now. “We knew that he is coming here as he feared defeat in Amethi. But, we didn’t tell that then as that would have helped BJP,” he said, adding, “At that time, we had said that Rahul’s candidature would only help send a message that Left was the main enemy.”
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